I have two 6- and a 9-year-old sons. They live with their father. I have found out that they share a bedroom with their 18-year-old step-brother there. The 18-year-old plays videogames rated 16+ and 18+. Their father allows our boys to watch him play these games. And their father messaged me that he isn't stopping his 18-year-old playing this sort of games. We are going through courts to get my boys with me. At my house we have my boys staying over for the weekend and we don't allow them to play or watch such videogames.

Is it okay for an 18-year-old to share a bedroom with 6- and 9-year-olds? Is this allowed in the UK?

  • 2
    It's not illegal, but it's also not ideal. Feb 16, 2016 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


I don't really think this is a good idea. Not with that kind of age gap, and particularly not with step-siblings.

There are no laws preventing this. The laws only apply to siblings of different sex.

The reason I believe it's just not ideal though, is that an 18 year is basically a full grown man, and may be into all sorts of things that may not be appropriate for such young kids. Also if the 18 year old doesn't have other younger siblings, then he may not have really learned what's appropriate what isn't where young kids are concerned. These things don't come naturally.

I also doubt an 18 year old would be particularly comfortable sharing a room with a 6 and 9 year old.

From the UK Housing Act 1985

325 The room standard.

(1)The room standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling and the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation is such that two persons of opposite sexes who are not living together as husband and wife must sleep in the same room.

(2)For this purpose—

(a)children under the age of ten shall be left out of account, and

(b)a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a bedroom or as a living room.

  • Just out of curiosity, is it illegal to share the room or just to not provide enough of them? . I.e.: I may have a sofa bed available in the living room but choose to sleep in a shared room with a friend of the opposite sex. From the wording I would assume the latter. Feb 16, 2016 at 17:40
  • 2
    @DiegoSánchez As I read it, the latter — "must sleep in the same room" implies it isn't done voluntarily. Probably a question for Law.SE to make sure, though ;)
    – Acire
    Feb 16, 2016 at 17:42
  • Another curiosity question: What happens if you break the law? I'm pretty sure most people will try to arrange for good living conditions, but in some cases they may not be able to depending on location and means. Is it illegal to be homeless ?
    – Hilmar
    Feb 17, 2016 at 14:43
  • @Hilmar I believe the penalties are fines. However I assume they can escalate if people aren't complying. I find it hard to believe there would be genuine situations where it's not possible for people to provide adequate accommodation for their children. If people are living in poverty and cannot afford appropriate housing, there is always public housing. Feb 17, 2016 at 14:48

This is purely a cultural issue. It is not illegal in the UK (although in England and Wales there is specific prohibition for opposite sexes sharing a room)

Historically, everyone in a family slept in the same room - as houses were only one room. In fact, the animals tended to sleep in the same room as well.

In some cultures, sharing a room with extended family is still normal.

However, it sounds like you are not comfortable with it, so it's worth looking at pros and cons, so you do need to discuss it with him, and ideally with the other parent.

  • The 18 year old man even goes on +16 & +18 video games and their dad allows 6 & 9 year old boys watch him play them. And their dad messaged me that he isn't stopping his 18 year old playing them sort of games. We are going through courts to get my boys with me. At my house we have my boys 6 & 9 year old staying over for the weekend and we don't allow them to play or watch +16 +18 video games.
    – Yvonne
    Feb 16, 2016 at 12:16
  • @Yvonne It sounds like a bad situation. I hope you're successful, and able to get those kids out of there. I know what +18 video games are like, and there is no way a 6 & 9 year old should ever be watching this type of thing. Feb 16, 2016 at 23:41
  • It's all legal nothing I can do. I had a word with my solicitor and she told me I can't do anything even thou I have parentle responsibility. It's all wrong
    – Yvonne
    Feb 25, 2016 at 16:05

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